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Fall 2011 Student Lecture Series: Martha Schwartz

The Softer Side of Sustainability

The Xian Horticultural Exhibit, 2011 in Xian, China

The Xian Horticultural Exhibit, 2011 in Xian, China

  • 10/18/2011

  • 6 PM 

  • Cascieri Hall
    320 Newbury Street
    Boston, MA

  • janet.oberto@the-bac.edu

  • Free and open to the public.

Martha Schwartz, Principal, Martha Schwartz Partners, will present The Softer Side of Sustainability as part of the Fall 2011 Student Lecture Series on October 18, 2011, 6:00 PM in Cascieri Hall.

Martha Schwartz
FASLA, Hon. FRIBA, Hon. RDI, Hon. DSc Principal

Martha Schwartz is a landscape architect and artist with major interests in cities and the urban landscape. Her work spans from site-specific art installations to working with cities at strategic planning levels. Her focus is on environmental sustainability and the creation of awareness about how the urban landscapes underwrites urban sustainability through functioning as the platform for a city's environmental, social and economic health.

"We must expand our remit to advocate for the regeneration and densification of our cities, and within this goal, our role as landscape architects expands exponentially. Our understanding of all the operative systems, both ‘hard' [technical] and ‘soft' [emotional, political, cultural] are our core areas of knowledge. We must grasp the task at hand in its expanse and complexities, and step up to the plate in our advocacy of sustainability at the urban scale. For as long as we trail behind the architects by ‘greening' their buildings, we are simply fiddling while Rome burns." - Martha Schwartz

Schwartz is an advocate for how cities can help to reduce climate change and support a more sustainable approach to diminishing resources. Schwartz continues her devotion to the built environment through pushing new boundaries and expressions as a designer. She understands design as a method through which to create social buy-in and the creation of value for public spaces. She believes that design creates identity, sense of place and helps to differentiate ourselves in an ever-growing uniformity of place as a result of globalization.

As principal of Martha Schwartz Partners in Cambridge, Massachusetts and London, United Kingdom, she has over 30 years of experience as a landscape architect and artist on a wide variety of projects located around the world with a variety of world-renowned architects.

She is the recipient of numerous awards and prizes including the Honorary Royal Designer for Industry Award from the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce for her outstanding contribution to UK design; the Cooper Hewitt National Design Award; the Women in Design Award for Excellence from the Boston Society of Architects; an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Science from the University of Ulster in Belfast, Ireland; a fellowship from the Urban Design Institute; visiting residencies at Radcliffe College and the American Academy in Rome; an Honorary Fellowship from the Royal Institute of British Architects and most recently a Council of Fellows Award by the American Society of Landscape Architects.

Martha Schwartz is a tenured Professor in Practice of Landscape Architecture at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design and a founding member of the Working Group of Sustainable Cities at Harvard University. She has lectured both nationally and internationally about sustainable cities and the urban landscape, and her work has been featured widely in publications as well as gallery exhibitions.